Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) told CNN Thursday that if President Trump pardoned his former campaign chair Paul Manafort then he believed that would be grounds for impeachment.
"I believe pardoning Paul Manafort would be grounds for impeachment," Lieu told CNN’s Jim Acosta. "Whether Republicans would act on that, I don’t think they would."
Rep. Lieu: If the President pardoned Paul Manafort it “would be grounds for impeachment....” I don’t think Republicans would act on that which is why this November “voters across America have a chance to change the makeup of Congress” https://t.co/ar88ZglVQS pic.twitter.com/prTRoewni5— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) August 16, 2018
Lieu emphasized that this "is why this November the voters across America have a chance to change the makeup of Congress and put in a real check and balance by putting in Democrats to control."
Talk of impeaching President Trump is unpopular among Democratic leadership. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it a “gift to Republicans” in April.
Rep. Lieu was a bit vague on the details when pressed by Acosta on whether Democrats would move on impeachment prior to the midterm elections if President Trump did pardon Manafort.
Lieu deflected, replying that special counsel Robert Mueller would then have to decide what “the intent of the President was” in pardoning Manafort and whether it was to obstruct justice.
The jury is still deliberating in Manafort's trail, asking the judge for a definition of “reasonable doubt” Thursday.
Manafort faces 18 counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and hiding foreign bank accounts brought by Mueller in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.